We've been living in Haiti for a little over a week now. There are moments when I look at my children as we drive through the sea of people and can't believe that they are here. Beside me. Journeying through this with me. It's a gift and it's a curse. The complexities of this tiny island nation are more vast than I will ever be able to convey with my feeble words. How you can go from one moment dodging dangerous road blocks to the next when you are sitting at one of the most striking places that God EVER created will, hopefully, always be beyond me. How can it be that right outside of one of your homes are more choices than you'll be able to make in a lifetime...and outside of the barbed-wire walls and gate of your other home people are literally starving to death?
We spent today at the beach right down the road from where people lost their lives last night as roads were blocked for most of the day. Countless people were barricaded from going where they needed to go. Explaining why is more than I can do and more than I even understand. While we were there, Kalista brought me a hand of sea glass and I couldn't help but to ponder it.
The source of its very existence is brokenness.
No one sees where it originated. How and why it landed in a place to be refined by the waves is a mystery all its own.
All that is seen is the finality of its refinement. Not knowing how long it would take to get into the hands of someone that would appreciate all it had gone through... this part of its journey ends at the edge of the vast waters. It lies at the shoreline with hopefulness glimmering. It's chock-full of beautiful brokenness. It's picked up and cherished. Is it admired for what it has gone through to become so captivating? The one looking upon it can't fathom what it took to get where it did. Isn't it such with life?
The people here have struggled and continue to struggle in ways that I have never and will never know. I can't begin to relate to the broken places that exist in their hearts and minds. The loss they have suffered, and the oppression endured by an entire population is beyond the scope of my life experiences. The injustice of it all is overwhelming to my finite mind.
And yet, the thing that stands out to me the most is the same glimmer of sea glass in their eyes. Brokenness refined into thankfulness. Joy. Hope. Beauty. Oh, the beauty...it can't begin to be quantified. James 1:2-4 comes alive here:
Consider it PURE JOY when you face trials of many kinds. Because you KNOW that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
As we travel about in the sea of brokenness around us, I pray I never forget to find the glass. I don't want to miss it. I want to see the beauty, yes, but I also want to remember the pain and suffering.
Jesus, give me eyes to SEA.